Much like anything else, website pages and its content can be found much easier when there is a guide. Google and other search engines rely on these XML sitemaps to expedite the process of crawling your entire website.
An XML sitemap is a file that lists all the URLs on a website and is accessible to web crawlers. This file lists all the pages on a website, typically organized in hierarchical fashion.
A sitemap can provide valuable metadata associated with the web pages. Metadata provides information about a webpage, such as when the site was last updated, how often the website is changed/updated, and the importance of the page relative to other pages in the site. A priority tag listed within an XML sitemap provides web crawlers with insight as to which pages have a higher level of importance. This allows the search engines to order the crawling of a website based on the priority of pages. We also use a sitemap to provide search engines more information about specific types of content such as video, image, and mobile content.
But What Do I Do with It?
Once created, the XML sitemap aides in the crawling of your site. This is where Google Search Console comes into play. This platform was created by Google to act as a mode of communication between the search engine and the developers. Once you have created and downloaded your sitemap, you can easily upload it to Google Search Console and give the search engine the direction it needs. When submitted to search engines, it’s more likely that crawlers will include posts and pages into search results. Generally, when search engines find a new site they crawl a limited number of pages, returning over time to index the entire site. Creating and submitting an XML sitemap will decrease the time it takes search engines to find all the pages on your website. When properly constructed, XML sitemaps will help increase your websites online presence in a shorter period of time.
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